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David Bowie RIP

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La nécrologie du “Guardian” à propos de l’artiste anglais, mort à 69 ans.

L’hommage de Jarvis Cocker, chanteur du groupe Pulp:

“He was like an umbrella for people who felt a bit different. Bowie was like a like a lighthouse that guided those people and made them feel it was alright to be different, to try things out and dye your hair and wear strange clothes. I think people feel it very personally because he was very important in how people grew up.

“I do think it’s quite amazing that he put this record out and managed to keep it secret that he was ill. People should watch that ‘Blackstar’ video and listen to that song. It’s like he’s saying goodbye to everybody, he’s controlling it.

“We can all talk about David Bowie. I think the best thing to do on this day would be to listen to him, and to watch films of him and just see what a fantastic artist he was and how many different guises he had, and the incredible amount of work that he did.

“Obviously it’s a sad day that he’s died, but the fact that he managed to stay in control of that image and make another artistic statement when he was obviously ill and knew that he was dying, I think that’s incredible and it makes me feel quite happy that he stayed creative right to the end of his life. I think that can only be inspirational.”

Written by audiogrammes

January 11, 2016 at 18:07

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Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 8.12.01 AM

Loneliness does not come from being alone, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important.” -C.G. Jung

It all started with a random cover download

Loved the fact that it was a Nilsson song I didn’t know
And then I discovered this beautiful version.

Down to the bottom
Hello, is there anybody else here?
It’s cold and I’m so lonely
Hello, is there anybody else here?

Hello, won’t you throw me down a Life Line?
I’m so afraid of darkness
And down here, it’s just like night time

Oohs, are all around me
Hello, will you please send down a Life Line?

Down and there isn’t any hope for me
Unless this dream which seems so real
Is just a fantasy

Which led me there

I don’t know much, when I knew less,
And I was heartbroke for the first time,
I was drowning in my tears,
I went looking for a lifeline,
Trying to find some comfort,
A simple tender touch,
Searching for some little cure
That would not cost too much,
And I could hear that produce wagon on the street,
I could hear that farmer singing,
As I cried myself to sleep

I got ba-na-na, watermelon, peaches by the pound,
Sweet corn, mirleton, mo’ better than in town,
I got okra, enough to choke ya,
Beans of every kind,
If hungry is what’s eatin’ you
I’ll sell you peace of mind,
But this ain’t what you came to hear me say,
And I hate to disappoint you,
But I got no love today,
I got no love today,
I got no love today,
No love today

I could not love to save myself
From lonesome desperation.
Everything I thought was love
Was worthless imitation.
My concept of commitment
Was to take all you could give,
I thought the cheapest thrills I loved
Were teachin’ me to live,
But nothin’ seemed to last or see me through
Nothin’ but that little song
That I still sing for you.

I got ba-na-na, watermelon, peaches by the pound,
Sweet corn, mirleton, mo’ better than in town,
I got okra, enough to choke ya,
Beans of every kind,
If hungry is what’s eatin’ you
I’ll sell you peace of mind,
But this ain’t what you came to hear me say,
And I hate to disappoint you,
But I got no love today,
I got no love today,
I got no love today,
No love today

No love today, none tomorrow,
Not now, not forever.
You can’t see what comes for free,
I think you much too clever,
For your own good I will tell you
What’s right before your eyes,
Intelligence is no defense
Against what this implies,
In the end no one will sell you what you need,
You can’t buy it off the shelf,
You got to grow it from the seed,

I got ba-na-na, watermelon, peaches by the pound,
Sweet corn, mirleton, mo’ better than in town,
I got okra, enough to choke ya,
Beans of every kind,
If hungry is what’s eatin’ you
I’ll sell you peace of mind,
But this ain’t what you came to hear me say,
And I hate to disappoint you,
But I got no love today,
I got no love today,
I got no love today,
No love today


Watch the Full movie Nilsson wrote the song for

and the full TV Special on which I found this version.

Why’d I do this now? Maybe I should’ve waited ’til Monday…

Written by audiogrammes

May 23, 2015 at 07:20


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Need some soothing music? Working hard and want something non-obtrusive but not electronic?
Try Daniel Bachman‘s River
Yes it’s folky with just one guitar… Don’t say I didn’t warn you

I don’t know why, it reminds me of the background music in Josh T. Pearson‘s Last Of The Country Gentlemen
Of course his voice adds a lot.

Perhaps you know his band Lift to Experience? Their 2001 album The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads was also great!

Reminds me of late-period (posthumously released) Jeff Buckley material

Written by audiogrammes

May 13, 2015 at 01:15

___ Off

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As in “dance-off” or “rip-off”. And definitely not f@%k off…

First time I watch this video. Not official but silly and clumsy

“I’m sad with the way that I am
I’m turning away from the past, oohh
I’m lookin’ for a better place
I’m lonely but findin’ my way around…”

Groove Armada’s History sounds a lot like Bronski Beat’ Smalltown Boy

Yes it’s a gay anthem but I never heard it that way.

…the answers you seek will never be found at home
The love that you need will never be found at home
Run away, turn away…

The latest ripoff/sample of this amazing melody courtesy of Brandon Flowers: His late single “I Can Change” is basically him singing on top Smalltown Boy

… I’ll be what you’re looking for
Even if it’s not who I am
I can change
I can change for you…

As a bonus, here’s a mashup. At least they’re not pretending they composed a new song

Written by audiogrammes

May 6, 2015 at 13:12

BOB, these are killer tunes

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Killer Bob (Twin Peaks)

In Lebanon, a lot of Arabic names get shortened to an American nickname:
Most commonly Mohamad becomes Moe. Sometimes you get Jeff for Chafic or Billy/Willy for Walid. Another one you get used to is Bob for Ibrahim.
Which takes us straight to the chase: I have a slightly thematic post one week after Eid el Adha, the second of two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year.

The “Festival of the sacrifice” (As Wikipedia explains so candidly) honors the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his promised son, Ishmael (Ismail), as an act of submission to God’s command, before God then intervened to provide Abraham with a lamb to sacrifice instead.

In the other two monotheist religions it’s the “Story of Isaac” as sung by Leonard Cohen on his 1969 masterpiece Songs From A Room

Anyway, so let’s start with a disclaimer: I mean no disrespect etc etc…
Here’s a track that was really hard to find here before Youtube: it was banned and I had only got the chance to hear it once at an “écoute musicale”.

Yes, on Ishmael South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly known as Dollar Brand) sings the Fatiha.

For completists there’s also an instrumental cover by the ubiquitous Nicolas Jaar.

But let’s stay in the Ibrahim family, Ali from the Ivory Coast also sings Allah’s praises on this funky track

Shoulda posted this a week ago but all this came together tonight.
Plus it allowed to squeeze in the perfect outro: Yes, the picture illustrating this post is Killer Bob from David Lynch‘s Twin Peaks and in case you haven’t been online lately, here’s an important announcement:


Written by audiogrammes

October 11, 2014 at 23:03

(Indie-an) Summer

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Marie Laurencin, Trois jeunes femmes, vers 1953

Marie Laurencin, Trois jeunes femmes, vers 1953

It started with a pang.
At dawn
Was it hunger, an irresistible thirst or just my guilty conscience running away with me?
I obviously opted for hunger.
“French toast with molasses
Croquet and baked alaskas”

I’d been listening to this new box-set of REM rarities and found this gorgeous track.
Turns out they were covering Indie band Beat Happening

Of course, it’s not about food or a a picnic or just about “Indian summer” the golf and country club in Olympia (where beat Happening are from).
Star-crossed lovers? Oral sex? Theories abound.

“Touch girl, apple blossom
Just a boy playing possum
We’ll come back for Indian summer
And go our separate ways”

I just really like it. Makes me feel sad in a good way.

And to think I always thought it was a Ben Gibbard song

In the end, your subconscious always gets the upper hand.
It reminded me of another sad summer-y breakup track. Also a cover; this time by The National and St. Vincent

“Weary sun, sleep tonight, go crashing into the ocean
Cut the line that ties the tide and moon, ancient and blue
We take our empty hearts and fill them up with broken things
To hang on humming wire like cheap lamps down a dead end street
Close your weary eyes until the wintertime
And every time we turn away it hits me like a tidal wave
I would change for you but, babe, that doesn’t mean I’m gonna be a better man
Give the ocean what I took from you so one day you could find it in the sand
And hold it in your hands again

Cold ways kill cool lovers
Strange ways we used each other
Why won’t you fall back in love with me?
There ain’t no way we’re gonna find another
The way we sleep all summer
So why won’t you fall back in love with me?”

Indie artists covering Indie-er artists
I prefer the cover, but here’s the original by Crooked Fingers

And then randomness (who’s always been my closest ally) gives me the perfect outro: Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra covering Joe Dassin.

If you don’t know the original, here you go. Weirdly enough, he was American but sang in French…
For me it’s the civil war in Lebanon, Dédé and the unfortunately not too frequent “so bad it’s good” moments on Radio Nostalgie.

“je me souviens, je me souviens très bien
De ce que je t’ai dit ce matin-là
Il y a un an, y a un siècle, y a une éternité”

Post-Scriptum / Anatomy of a post:
Seems that very low voices were the common thread… or maybe that’s always the case…
Interested in vocal ranges? check this link

Reminds me of that lyric from Leonard Cohen ‘s Tower of Song:
“I was born like this, I had no choice. I was born with the gift of a golden voice”


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Pierrot le Fou quote

Je ne sais plus si c’est Anna Karina qui m’a fait découvrir ce morceau ou si c’est Jeanne Moreau

En tout cas, elle a beaucoup chanté chez Godard. D’ailleurs, dans Pierrot Le fou elle chante aussi cette chanson magnifique.

Et bien sur, elle a chanté avec d’autres dans les années 60…
Même si au cinéma c’est face à Brialy qu’elle a chanté le morceau suivant, je préfère cette version avec son auteur-compositeur.

Et là je pourrai aller n’importe où:
Le Beau Serge avec Brialy mais sans Gainsbourg?
Ou tout simplement cet autre extrait d’Anna?

Il en a eu des interprètes Serge, et pas des moindres…

Dani et Daho?

Sa version n’ayant apparu que bien plus tard, on a l’impression que c’est lui qui les reprend.

Et Deneuve bien sûr…

Et voila j’arrive enfin à la chanson qui a déclenché ce délire.

Et son personnage la chantant dans sa jeunesse.

Je suis presqu’un inconditionnel d’Alex Beaupain et de Christophe Honoré: Les Chansons d’amour, les Bien-aimés… et même les morceaux “solo” qui sont malheureusement introuvables en ligne.

C’est pas Gainsbourg mais c’est bon et ça fait du bien par où ça passe.
Désolé, mais comme monsieur Beaupain se protège dans le monde virtuel, faut cliquer pour télécharger/écouter ce morceau.

Je veux de l’alcool
Comme discipline d’école
Et si je décline, so cold
Aspirine et Sorbitol

Je veux de la drogue
Comme mes idoles de Vogue
Et si je décolle “so high”
Qu’on m’arrête en plein vol

Mais pas d’amour
Pas de baiser, pas d’être aimé, pas d’alentours

Je veux du sexe
Comme au dortoir qui vexe
Et quand ça part, réflexe
Qu’on m’essuie d’un Kleenex

Je veux de la nuit
Comme désespoir la pluie
Et si j’espère quand même
Punissez moi c’est que j’oublie

Mais pas d’amour
Pas de baiser, pas d’être aimé, pas d’alentours

Tu dis mon petit quand on est poli
On dit pas je veux, on dit j’aimerais

Je dis je veux même si c’est pas joli
Car moi plus jamais


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Ich nicht sprechen Deutsch!
Ich nicht sprechen Deutsch!
I said
Ich nicht sprechen Deutsch!
Ich nicht sprechen Deutsch!

B-Side of the single released two days ago!

Who’d have thunk it? Watching PSB again on Friday in Berlin. And yes, before listening to this song I couldn’t even say “I don’t speak German”. However, my dear friend K made sure he taught me Entschuldigung before “leaving” me all alone in Germany.

I’ve got an amazing weekend coming up:
Jagwar Ma and SOHN at First Take We Take Berlin
followed by Blur, Pet Shop Boys, Bjork, My Bloody Valentine, Pantha du Prince, John
Talabot… at the Berlin Festival in the middle of an abandoned airport
and on Monday I’ll relax with Debussy and Ravel at the Berlin Philharmonie

Did I just rub it in your face? Oh, I’m sorry.
I mean Entschuldigung!

Take that trip down memory lane
Where you’re never gonna feel the same
Where you’re never gonna take the blame
Change your name, now you out the game
So you head outside, feel the rain
Something in your brain can’t break the chain
Same mistake again, fake the pain again,
Day to day you prowl, wakey wakey now
Holy cow you’re in doubt
You left and now you feel down
Your heart lies back in that town
So creep back in, don’t make a sound
Or lose your crown again, sleep around again
Tell your friends that you’re proud
Or ask yourself what you really want from life
Don’t follow that crowd!

I never tried to make you
walk into the deep end
and now I find myself
awake from all the weekend
I never tried to cause
that Sunday morning creep-in
I want to stay
but I must row that boat home

It’s Thursday night
Let’s get it right
I want to know
you’re gonna stay for the weekend
Starting tonight
Let’s do it right
I want to know
you’re gonna stay for the weekend
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
I want to know
you’re gonna stay for the weekend

PS: yes, Love is a Bourgeois construct and Schadenfreude is such an amazing word.

When you walked out you did me a favour
It’s absolutely clear to me
that love is a bourgeois construct
just like they said at university
I’ll be taking my time for a long time
with all the schadenfreude it’s cost
calculating what you’ve lost


Talking tough and feeling bitter
but better now it’s clear to me
that love is a bourgeois construct
so I’ve given up the bourgeoisie

Written by audiogrammes

September 4, 2013 at 17:28

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Midnight coming on a Monday night

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I’d forgotten what it meant to have a life-changing moment.
Yesterday I got to see Jeffrey Lewis live in a tiny bar in Berlin.
I’d always thought he had great lyrics and listened to what people might call the hits (
Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror, Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song) and his Crass cover album.

He’s a smart and very witty, self-deprecating genius.
Concert was meant to be at Festsaal Kreuzberg, but the place burned down less than a week ago. So I got to see him at Monarch. Bought the ticket at the door (12 euros!) and was 3 meters away from him during the whole show.
Cozy venue. People smoking indoors (a friend told me later it was hard for her to believe Lebanese were actually smoking on the sidewalk while Berliners were all inside). Fogged up windows, U-Bahn passing on the bridge… You get the picture.

No lyrics today: listen to the songs!
I won’t post any of his words so you get to discover them slowly as he sings them. Just like I did.
I recognized 3 songs during the whole set

This Crass cover

This classic. Check out the Michel Gondry hand-picked student-made video

And Midnight was actually coming on a Monday night when someone in the crowd shouted out for this one

All the others were new to me:

Water Leaking, Water Moving

When You’re By Yourself

To Be Ojectified


Time Trades

There were also a couple of low-budget films (a biography of Alan Moore and an After Dark sexy comic) and a few new tracks that have yet to be released.

It was a brilliant performance. I love this guy.
And yes, the Daniel Johnston comparisons you’re trying to voice are not totally unfounded.

and yes they’ve already played together

Written by audiogrammes

September 4, 2013 at 00:40


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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

It might be a classic and slightly expected in its subject-matter but I’m glad somebody actually recited this Robert Frost poem to me a few days ago…

Of course it made me think of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

I like this version… Of course it makes for a great child-themed transition to the Wizard of Oz

And then it could go anywhere…

The Long and Winding Road?

too cheesy

On the road to Nowhere?

Maybe… In any case we’re On the road again

Written by audiogrammes

September 2, 2013 at 14:22